caring for your work & tools with the #fringehatalong series

When my friend Karen Templer first posted about her new hat knitting series on her blog Fringe Association I knew right away I was IN!  I had just completed my first hat designed by Camellia Fiber Co. (which you can find here) and was thrilled with the RUSH I was left with from finally making a HAT.  Here is was, not just in rectangular world, but in a circular world.  I could feel no skills arise and my next thought was : SWEATER. LET'S DO THIS. I took a few steps back and decided I needed to keep honing in on a few skills, one of them being using double pointed needles.  

 

After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I totally thought would not be helpful, my life has gained so so much.  Particularly a new sense of care for my objects and tools.  I made the decision to make a real investment in a set of dpns and purchased the above Bone Double Pointed Needles from Karen's shop Fringe Supply Co. They are even more stunning in real life than they are in the photographs.  Just feeling them on my hands I knew I had made the right decision.  Taking time to find the right tools was partly inspired by finding the right yarn! 

Karen's suggestion for the project was Snoqualmie Valley Yarn from Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, WA.  Through Karen, Anna (the owner of Tolt) and Ashley from Woolful (an AMAZING podcast that is a must listen) I have truly started to re-evaluate my personal Fiber Journaey, which I'll write more about next week.  But for now I was just so excited to find this "farm to needle" wool for my hat. 

Because my nature is to be messy, sloppy, and uncareful (something i attempt to forgive myself for/accept everyday) I have been finding that taking care of my work takes MORE care and mindfulness than I think it does.  I dyed some napkins awhile back with artist in residence Rachel de Cuba with avocados & walnuts and turned them in to this small project bag.  I used a simple tutorial I found here and was happy to learn all I needed to know how to do was sew a straight line and iron a seam. 

I also am not a huge fan of wearing white, so I asked Megan of Adventure Textiles to throw this wool in with her next walnut dye pot! I'm excited to see the results tomorrow and get to work. 

Knitting is often isolating, in the best ways, but also every now and then can become lonely for me.  There is something so calming and assuring knowing that others are working towards the same goals.  When I met Karen it was at a shop keepers retreat, and the feeling of unanloneness I shared with those ladies continues to infuse my life today.  Even when it's as simple as knitting a hat, just knowing you're not in it alone can be incredibly powerful, and that's something I want to be a part of. 

written by Marlee Grace